He looked at the new high school being built in his home town of Mankato as an example. Here's the punchline:
On bicycle trips around Minnesota and Wisconsin, I've noticed these sprawl schools a lot. Probably the worst one I've seen recently is in Pine City, Minnesota (pop, 3000).
The school is only two years old, and located in a farm field on the edge of town. Pine City has a lovely Main Street, but it's a mile and a half away along old US Highway 61.
|[High school to the heart of town.]|
I always wonder why civic leaders choose not to put the high school in the middle of town, and I wondered it again as I went past the school.
But then on my way North, I saw the brand new County Courthouse complex, an even larger sprawling complex even farther away from downtown out on the other far edge of town. The courthouse complex is literally surrounded by empty lots and a freeway onramp.
Compare this to the days when courthouses used to be the absolute center of a town, and kids walking to schools was a common sight. All I can think is that whoever makes decision in Pine City must really hate where they live, or love parking lots, or have a good friend with some land to sell.
|[Courthouse to the heart of town.]|